A court ruled Thursday that an order forcing Tokyo teachers to stand before Japan's flag and sing an anthem to the emperor violated the constitution, a rare victory for the country's waning pacifist movement, plaintiffs' lawyers said.
The decision bolstered opponents of Japan's growing emphasis on patriotism.
The "Hinomaru" flag — a red disc on a white field — and the "Kimigayo" hymn to the emperor were made Japan's official symbols in 1999.
Supporters of the symbols say Japanese children should be taught national pride, but opponents argue the flag and anthem are remnants of Japan's militarist period ...
The 401 plaintiffs sued the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, led by nationalist Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, and the Tokyo education board over a 2003 directive that threatened teachers with punishment for not honoring the anthem and flag.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Unknown | Friday, September 22, 2006 |